Top 10 Things Covert Narcissists Say in an Argument

Things Covert Narcissists Say in an Argument

Visualize this:

You're in the midst of a heated argument with someone close to you, and they say something that stops you in your tracks. 😔

It's manipulative, it's hurtful, and it leaves you feeling small and invalidated.

Sound familiar?

Keep reading.

Gaslighting and Distorting Reality

Gaslighting is manipulative and controlling behavior used by narcissists.

Gaslighting and Distorting Reality

It's tricky to spot, but once you know what to look for, you can protect yourself from its harmful effects.

Here's what to watch out for when dealing with gaslighters:

  1. They put you on the defensive, making you doubt your own reality. They'll say things like "You're overreacting" or "You always exaggerate," messing with your perception.
  2. Gaslighters continually question your memory, leaving you unsure about your own recollections. They might say stuff like "I never said that" or "You must have misunderstood."
  3. Covert narcissists play the victim card masterfully, making you feel responsible for their actions. They act innocent while blaming you.
  4. Gaslighters twist your words and create straw man arguments. They take your statements out of context, distorting them to fit their own narrative.
  5. Narcissists also employ the word salad technique, mixing up thoughts without any logical sense. This further confuses and manipulates you, making it hard to express your own viewpoint.

Arguing with a gaslighter is usually pointless.

Instead, focus on setting boundaries, seeking support from trusted friends or professionals, and taking care of your mental well-being.

Main points I'll expand upon further down this article:

  1. Covert narcissists employ insult disguised as innocent remarks to manipulate during arguments.
  2. Techniques to combat covert narcissists include using concise and direct statements, staying silent, and expressing disinterest.
  3. Covert narcissists rely on passive-aggressive communication and evasive strategies to avoid conflict resolution.
  4. Understanding and recognizing covert narcissistic traits is crucial for dealing with them effectively.

But there's another tactic employed by covert narcissists that may surprise you—their jealousy and victim mindset reveal a darker side...

Playing the Victim Card

If someone is always playing the victim, trying to manipulate you, here are some signs to watch out for:

  1. They're always complaining about their circumstances.
  2. They love to blame others for their problems.
  3. They never take responsibility for what they've done wrong.
  4. They crave sympathy and attention from others.
  5. They twist or exaggerate facts to make themselves look innocent.
  6. They use their victim status to avoid facing consequences.
  7. They divert attention away from their own faults and focus on other people's supposed wrongdoings.
  8. They thrive on drama and conflict, using their victimhood as a way to control situations.
  9. They make you feel guilty and obligated to them.
  10. They have a pattern of playing the victim in all areas of their life. 🚩

If you're dealing with such a person, don't forget that you ought to establish boundaries and hold them accountable for their actions.

Playing the Victim Card

Remember that you have the power to take charge of your own story.

But what if I told you there's more to their manipulative tactics?

Brace yourself for the covert narcissist's weapon of choice!

Insults Disguised as Jokes

Covert narcissists are slick at making insults seem like jokes.

They twist their words to turn productive conversations into baseless accusations.

By cloaking their insults as jokes, they avoid taking responsibility while intentionally causing you harm.

Let me give you a few examples of how these covert narcissists pull off this trick:

  1. They sneakily mock your looks or skills in the name of humor.
  2. When you express hurt or offense, they suggest that you're too sensitive or can't take a joke.
  3. Hurtful comments are brushed off with laughter, as if it was all just a harmless joke and you should lighten up.
  4. With sarcasm, they tear down your ideas or achievements, aiming to belittle you.
  5. Discrediting you in a subtle, teasing way makes it hard for others to see the insult.

Don't be fooled, these disguised insults aren't innocent chit-chat.

Covert narcissists use them as manipulative tactics to undermine and emotionally control you.

The first step to breaking free from their harmful grasp is recognizing these sneaky insults.

And now that we have explored the tactics covert narcissists use to insult and manipulate during arguments, you ought to understand how to effectively deal with them.

So, I want to share some strategies that I've found helpful in navigating conversations with these individuals...

Silent Treatment and Withdrawal

Using concise and direct statements

Dealing with a narcissist can be really tough.

They love causing conflict and will do whatever it takes to manipulate and control the situation.

So, what can you do?

Well, one technique that can help is using short and direct statements. Don't play their mind games or argue with them.

Keep it simple and clear when you speak.

By doing this, you prevent them from twisting your words or manipulating you.

The power of silence

There are times when you can't completely remove yourself from a situation involving a narcissist. In those moments, staying silent can actually be a powerful tool.

When they try to provoke you or start an argument, don't give them the satisfaction of a response.

By remaining quiet, you take away their ammunition.

You regain control over your emotions and reactions.

Silent Treatment and Withdrawal

Moreover, showing disinterest by saying things like "I don't care" can also shut down their attempts at manipulation.

It shows them that their behavior has no impact on you and that you're not interested in playing their game.

The covert narcissist's tactics

Silent treatment and withdrawal are common strategies used by covert narcissists during arguments. They'll either completely ignore your valid concerns or brush them off as if they don't matter.

This is how they assert their dominance over you.

Not only that, but they often employ evasive tactics to avoid conflict and taking responsibility for their actions.

They deflect blame, change the subject, or simply refuse to admit any wrongdoing.

Their goal is to stay in control and never face the consequences.

Dealing with a narcissist requires setting boundaries and prioritizing your own well-being.

Silence can be a powerful tool in regaining peace of mind and protecting yourself from their manipulative tactics.

And now, let me delve further into the manipulative tactics employed by covert narcissists during arguments:

Passive-Aggressive Communication

Passive-Aggressive Communication is a trademark of covert narcissists.

These insecure and manipulative individuals rely on covert tactics to maintain control, such as:

  1. Withholding information: They often keep important details to themselves, causing confusion and frustration.
  2. Holding grudges: Instead of openly discussing issues, they hold onto resentments and use them to fuel future arguments.
  3. Emotional manipulation: Covert narcissists twist emotions during disagreements, using guilt, blame, or pity to gain the upper hand.
  4. Playing mind games: They enjoy keeping others off-balance by making subtle jabs, sarcastic remarks, or giving backhanded compliments.
  5. Manipulating through silence: Rather than addressing concerns directly, they may give the silent treatment or refuse to communicate altogether.
  6. Passive-aggressive acts: Examples include purposely forgetting commitments, sabotaging plans, or making snide remarks disguised as jokes.

Beware of these tactics, as they can deeply affect relationships and erode trust over time. 💔

You need to recognize and address passive-aggressive behavior to create healthier dynamics.

If you ever find yourself wondering why looking at old photos brings up feelings of sadness, you're not alone. Check out my article on Why Do I Feel Sad When Looking at Old Photos to explore this topic and find validation from others who may feel the same way.

Projection and Blaming Others

Projection and blaming others is a common tactic used by covert narcissists. They love to shift the blame onto others for their own actions. It's like watching a magic trick, but instead of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, they pull lies and deceit out of thin air.

So, let's dive into some key points about projection and blaming others:

  1. Creating imaginary scenarios: Covert narcissists excel at creating false realities where they are the victim and others are to blame. They twist facts and manipulate perceptions to fit their narrative.
  2. Playing the superiority card: When caught in a lie or questionable behavior, covert narcissists will assert their superiority over others. They use condescending remarks and belittle those who question them.
  3. Avoiding responsibility: Accepting responsibility for their actions? That's not something covert narcissists are interested in. Instead, they pass the buck, pointing fingers at anyone and everyone except themselves.
  4. Undermining your confidence: They'll use sweeping generalizations, making you doubt your own abilities and judgment. By undermining your confidence, they control the narrative and avoid meaningful conversations.
  5. The mask slips: Despite their best efforts, covert narcissists can't maintain the facade forever. Eventually, their true colors start to show. Pay attention to inconsistencies and gaslighting tactics.

️ Understanding projection and blaming others helps protect yourself from covert narcissists. Trust your instincts, stand firm in your truth, and don't allow their manipulation to define your reality.

Emotional Manipulation and Lack of Empathy

When dealing with a narcissist, you need to know they are manipulative and lack empathy. Here's what you should remember:

  1. Stay calm and composed when talking to them. Showing emotions gives them power.
  2. Narcissists struggle with childhood issues, which affects their ability to empathize.
  3. They think they're better than others and don't care about other people's needs or feelings.
  4. Keep an eye out for jealousy, as they can get resentful and vindictive.
  5. They never take responsibility and won't apologize. Don't expect it from them.
  6. Covert narcissists may use emotional or physical abuse during arguments to assert dominance.
  7. Watch out for covert narcissists insulting your parenting skills to undermine your self-worth.
  8. If they mention self-harm or suicide, take it seriously and seek professional help.
  9. Understand object constancy - the ability to maintain positive feelings despite conflicts.
  10. Beware of comparisons used by covert narcissists to make you feel inadequate.

Dealing with a narcissist is exhausting, but knowing how to handle them will give you more confidence and protect yourself.

So how do covert narcissists employ these manipulative tactics to gain control and undermine your sense of self?

Brace yourself, because what comes next will shed light on the devious strategies they use during arguments.

And trust me, you won't want to miss this.

Invalidation of Feelings and Non-Apologies

Covert narcissists often use a sneaky tactic in arguments where they invalidate your feelings, basically saying that what you're experiencing doesn't matter.

On top of that, they'll try to shift the blame onto you, making it seem like the whole mess is your fault and not theirs.

These narcissists also have a knack for undermining your reactions, messing with your head to question whether your emotions are even valid.

To make matters worse, they might cut you off from people who could support or give you a different perspective, keeping you under their control.

One more way they manipulate you is by doing favors but with strings attached.

They want you indebted to them, so you're less likely to stand up against their nonsense.

And if they ever do apologize, don't be fooled. It's not a real apology.

It's a fake apology that tries to downplay your feelings as if you were overreacting.

By pulling this stunt, they avoid taking any responsibility for their actions and put all the blame on you instead.

In summary, covert narcissists have a whole arsenal of tricks up their sleeves:

  • Ignoring your emotions
  • Pointing fingers at you
  • Undermining your reactions
  • Cutting you off from others
  • Manipulating through favors
  • Controlling your behavior

You have to recognize these manipulative tactics and enforce boundaries to safeguard yourself from emotional manipulation.

Now, let me share with you a manipulative tactic that covert narcissists use to tighten their grip on those they wish to control.

You won't believe how love itself can be cunningly weaponized, creating a power dynamic that exploits vulnerability and leaves their target questioning everything.

Love Bombing and Deceptive Language

Love bombing, is when narcissists manipulate you to gain control during an argument.

Let me break it down for you.

Here are the details:

  1. The narcissist uses deceptive language, making you believe that love has conditions and must be constantly proven.
  2. They create a power dynamic where they hold all the cards, manipulating your emotions to stay in control.
  3. Sweet words and gestures confuse and exploit your vulnerability in their design.
  4. This toxic cycle starts with an affectionate shower, then criticism or gaslighting follows, further manipulating you.
  5. But don't fall for it! Recognize love bombing as emotional manipulation meant to control you.

My friend, you deserve a healthy and genuine relationship.

Don't let deceptive language cloud your judgment.

Stay strong! 💪

But what happens when you start to catch on to the love bombing tactics?

You may confront the covert narcissist, leading to heated arguments...

Deflection and Shifting Blame

When you're dealing with a sneaky narcissist who always blames others, there are things you can do to protect yourself and keep your sanity intact:

  1. Spot the tricks used by these covert narcissists that make them deflect responsibility.
  2. Keep cool and collected when arguments arise – don't let them rattle you.
  3. Don't ever take the blame for stuff you didn't do – stand your ground.
  4. Stay consistent in your account of what really happened.
  5. Remember to trust your own instincts and how you perceive things.
  6. Brace yourself mentally for any gaslighting attempts – they might try to mess with your head.
  7. Be firm about your boundaries and ensure your needs and opinions are heard.
  8. If necessary, lean on supportive friends or professionals you trust to help you through this.
  9. You must realize that their deflection has nothing to do with you – it's all about their craving for control and manipulation.

You have the power to stand tall and resist their manipulative tactics.

Stay strong and believe in your truth. 😊

And now, I want to delve deeper into the complex mindset of covert narcissists.

Understanding their traits and tactics is crucial in protecting yourself during arguments...

Understanding the Covert Narcissist's Mindset

Understanding the mindset of a covert narcissist means recognizing their characteristics and behavior.

Insecurities and grudges are common struggles for them as they believe in their superiority.

Seeking validation and control while struggling to handle their emotions is a constant battle. Their fragile sense of self-worth drives them to use arguments as a shield.

Unlike overt narcissists, covert ones mask their true nature by pretending to be shy, humble, caring, and unselfish individuals.

They justify their actions with the belief that anything goes in love and war.

You ought to understand that covert narcissists are just as toxic as their overt counterparts.

Dealing with them requires acknowledging their tactic of threatening to remove something critical to you.

To effectively handle interactions with covert narcissists, there are several strategies you can employ:

  1. Seek professional help to gain guidance on dealing with their manipulative tactics.
  2. Trust yourself and your instincts when identifying their behavior patterns.
  3. Maintain calmness in confrontations to prevent escalating the situation.
  4. Set clear boundaries to protect yourself from their emotional manipulation.
  5. Respond objectively to criticism rather than becoming defensive or reactive.
  6. Use assertive communication techniques to express your needs and concerns firmly.
  7. Seek support from trusted friends, family members, or therapists.
  8. Prioritize self-care to strengthen your emotional resilience and maintain perspective.
  9. Stay aware of manipulative tactics used by covert narcissists to better protect yourself.

Please bear in mind that narcissistic personality disorders (NPD) involve extreme self-centeredness and a reluctance to address conflict maturely.

Diagnosing NPD necessitates considering the presence of at least five out of nine specific traits.

Understanding these dynamics will assist you in navigating relationships with covert narcissists more effectively.

And that's all for today!

You've made it to the end of my blog post, so I'd like to ask: Did you enjoy reading it? I've put in a ton of effort into crafting comprehensive and helpful blog posts. It truly consumes a significant amount of my time (which I don't mind at all), so I would greatly value it if you could click on any of the social sharing icons and share this blog post with others. Thank you so much!

Until next time,

-Jim Schmidt

Jim Schmidt

Hi, I'm Jim—an introvert, body language enthusiast, and seasoned blogger. I primarily write about body language, psychology, and relationship dynamics. If you're looking to break out of your shell and start living life as you're supposed to, then you are in the right place.